The internet features scores of articles on how to best fine tune various decks across all formats. As a deck brewer, I often come across the stereotype that “netdecking” off these sorts of articles and brewing one’s own deck are directly at odds, and nothing could be further from the truth. I enjoy doing research on what’s working in a particular format and seeing what I can do to personalize this success.
As a challenge to myself, and to get myself writing again, I decided to do an entire series that took the least popular commanders, according to EDHrec stats, and create EDH decks from these commanders that utilized their abilities
Let’s kick off this series with the mono-white commander with as of now zero decks on EDHrec – Rashida Scalebane.
Rashida Scalebane occasionally shows up in Captain Sisay as one of her many instruments of torture. She’s a legend, so that means she can technically pilot a deck. However, Scalebane has a rather specific ability, and though dragons are popular, they’re unfortunately not common enough to get a lot of value out of her ability.
My first thought was “if you make all of your opponent’s creatures dragons, you can kill anything.” Then I remembered we weren’t in blue.
I then realized that Rashida didn’t just target opponent’s dragons. I think I’ve come up with an interesting concept for Ms. Scalebane – Mono White Sacrifice.
So, the two most essential cards in this deck are Riptide Replicator and Volrath’s Laboratory. Both of these cards do the same thing – constantly give you creature tokens of a certain type. This is perfect for a color that might not have a lot of creatures of a certain type, while also not having a lot of cards that can change their own or other types.
Mirror Entity is also nice to have in this deck for a similar purpose, especially if we’re using any of the cards below to spit out Spirits.
So now we’ve got our Replicator/Laboratory making tiny dragon tokens. We’ve got Rashida ready to stab these tokens should they dare attack or block ever. Therefore, we’re gaining life. How do we take advantage of this? Lucky for us, we’re in white, a color that loves to reward its players for gaining life.
Archangel of Thune makes our surviving creatures bigger for each life gain. Cradle of Vitality and Serene Steward makes individual creatures bigger for various prices. Sunbond makes its enchanted creature bigger for each life gain (you can throw it on Rashida so that each time she gets innocent dragon blood on her hands she grows a little more powerful, a little more heartless). Felidar Sovereign is another possible wincon.
For artifacts, there’s always good ol’ Aetherflux Reservoir, aka Death Star, as another wincon once you’ve inevitably gotten to 51+ life.
White also likes to offer compensation for noble sacrifices. Thankfully the game can’t tell the difference between a noble sacrifice and murdering the creatures that trust you.
Proper Burial essentially doubles our life gain. Vigil for the Lost gives us more life per death trigger. Requiem Angel gives us spirit tokens to haunt Rashida for all eternity, or at least until those 1/1s die.
For artifacts, Jar of Eyeballs and Lightning Coils can be good value engines for card draw and aggro respectively.
Now killing tokens is all well and good, but magic actually does have a few mono white dragons, many of which feature synergies with the deck.
Sunscorch Regent is an excellent example – helping to trigger any life gain value engines while getting bigger so that when Rashida coldly murders it you’ll gain more life. Alabaster Dragon shuffles back into your library after death, so you can draw it and kill it again. Eternal Dragon can come directly back from the graveyard. Yosei, the Morning Star has an excellent death effect. Wardscale Dragon can shut out combat tricks, and if there’s one thing white’s good at, it’s shutting down fun.
For artifacts, Clockwork Dragon can get bigger for bigger life gain, and Steel Hellkite is just fantastic and there’s no reason to not run it.
There are plenty of other cards that work well with the deck. Angelic Chorus lets us get our value out of our creature when it comes in as well as when Rashida skewers it later. Soul Foundry can serve as another Replicator/Laboratory if you imprint one of the above-mentioned dragons. In case Rashida can’t be on the board, include sac outlets like Ashnod’s Altar, Skullclamp, or High Market – basically, take the white out of OG Teysa and shove it in this deck.
Naturally, you’ll want to put in the usual suite of white good stuff, depending on what’s affordable to you. Path to Exile/Swords to Plowshares, Wrath of Khan God, Iona, Shield of Destroyed Friendships, Oh Look I’m Going to Play Terminus for One Mana Then Complain about Cyclonic Rift, Oh Boy I’m Playing Grand Abolisher Because Why Should People Interact With M-
One specific white goodstuff card I’d recommend is Enlightened Tutor so you can tutor up your Laboratory/Replicator. Or you can just grab Rest in Peace and shut down the guy playing Rakdos Grenzo (hint: that guy is me, and I hate you).
That concludes this article. I hope that my deck analysis helps you build the Rashida Scalebane deck you’ve always dreamed of. If this deck isn’t your style, there’s plenty more where that came from in the next article of Garbage Fire Generals.